US Senator John Boozman, a Republican, has teamed up with Democratic Senators Jacky Rosen and Richard Blumenthal to sponsor a bill to increase drone usage. The legislation, known as the Drone Infrastructure Inspection Grant Act, proposes the provision of $100 million in grants to aid local governments in deploying drones for vital infrastructure inspections.
Sen. Boozman asserted, “There's no reason not to utilize Drone Technology that's produced right here in America to more efficiently and effectively assess the safety of our bridges, railways, and other infrastructure.”
He cited the advantages his home state of Arkansas has reaped from drones, which have been instrumental in precision agriculture, law enforcement activities, and bolstering manual inspections.
Furthermore, he emphasized that Arkansas is pioneering in its approach to reducing dependence on foreign manufacturers for unmanned aircraft systems. He shared his vision of expanding these efforts across the nation, coupled with investing in Education to generate more skilled drone operators and technicians.
To illustrate the profound impact of drone usage, Sen. Boozman pointed out an instance from 2021 where drones detected a serious fissure in the Interstate 40 bridge that connects Arkansas and Tennessee. This critical thoroughfare typically accommodates approximately 40,000 vehicles daily. The ability of drones to identify such structural issues underlines their potential value in safeguarding public infrastructure.
In this video from 8 months ago, Boozman explains his reasons for using drones to inspect infrastructure.
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